Scientology Faces Criminal Charges… again

Following a comprehensive 10-year investigation into the Church of Scientology, a Belgian prosecutor has recommended that the US-based organization be charged with fraud and extortion, and labelled a ‘criminal organization’. Whether the Belgian courts will follow his recommendation is now up to an administrative court to decide.

Of course, it’s not the first time Scientology has fallen foul of the law. In the 70s, Operation Snow White, in which scientologists raided government agencies, foreign embassies and consulates in a sanctioned attempt to wipe out any unfavourable facts about the church and its members, lead to eleven high ranking scientologists going to jail, including Hubbard’s own wife. Following that, the Canadians started investigating the church’s activities within their borders, which culminated in R vs. Church of Scientology of Toronto, in which seven members were convicted and the church itself was found guilty of breaching the public trust, and fined.

No big surprise that yet another country has figured out that the scientologists aren’t what they seem.

12 Responses to “Scientology Faces Criminal Charges… again”

  1. Darth_Morbius Says:

    For as long as I live, I will NEVER understand the apparent success of a movement such as Scientology – more than almost any other quasi-religious institution today, there is no more painfully apparent “invented” belief system than that subscribed to by these sad souls.

    I mean, here we have a man who was quoted (by various verifyable sources) as saying that establishing a new religion would be one of the most profitable ventures one could hope to undertake and lo and behold, he publishes Dianetics – based on a purely unashamed “crack-pot” theory of dead aliens and intergalactic warfare…and people buy into it!!!!

    I must admit that I find, increasingly, some disturbing parallels between the core tenets of Scientology and that of “The Secret” – especially when considering the consepts of “manifesting” your desires, controlling your “universe” and the discardment of medical treatments for various illnesses.

    Am I the only one who notices the stench that accompanies the growth of a new “religion” with the increased popularity of this new “Secret” fad? Escpecially here is SA where it has only recently landed – it seems to be making huge inroads into our zeitgeist…

  2. residentRsole Says:

    Now if they could only apply the same treatment to the Aum Shinrikyo. In my view, they are far more dangerous than the Scientologists.

  3. Aum Shinrikyo are still around? I thought they were dissolved after the whole Sarin Gas thing?

  4. The fact that Scientology is accepted, even though it is a fraud, is not all that surprising. There are published copies of the Necronomicon, and everyone knows that it is a purely fictional book, Yet, there are people that use it as a source of “magic”. Admittedly there are some that don’t know that it is from the Cthulhu Mythos, but there are those that do and still use it. Yes, those sorts are not the most reliable to begin with, but they are an extreme case that proves what people are capable of. Madness and stupidity are hallmarks of our species

  5. residentRsole Says:

    moonflake: Nope, they renamed themselves “Aleph”. They’re still around and rolling in cash, I hear. They play the game differently these days which is why they’re hardly in the news. They’re just as crazy as ever but they have learned from their mistakes and regrouped.

  6. most of the reason that scientology is accepted is because the vast majority of people i’ve encountered have absolutely no idea of what scientology is. They mostly think it’s some new type of psychology or alternative medicine. The whole space opera thing is played down within scientology and you’re not even told about it until you’re like OT III. We wouldn’t even know about it today if church documents hadn’t become public knowledge during the Snow White trial.

    And yeah, cults in general, not awesome. If you’re lucky, they burn out quickly like heaven’s gate, the branch dividians and the like. If you’re unlucky, they become Christianity.

  7. residentRsole Says:

    most of the reason that scientology is accepted is because the vast majority of people i’ve encountered have absolutely no idea of what scientology is

    moonflake: That’s a simple explanation and therefore I am inclined to agree.

  8. Con-Tester Says:

    I read Hubbard’s Dianetics several years ago, having just left school. As I was reading it, it appeared quite reasonable, even compelling, and it took me several months to digest it properly by cross-checking with other, retrospectively more credible sources, chiefly the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Hubbard writes well and is remarkably adept at smuggling in apparently sound premises that bolster his fallacious arguments, which is probably a vestige of his days as a pulp SF author.

    Therefore, I can understand quite well how a largely uncritical person might easily get hooked by this stuff.

    Some years later I found, quite by accident, a Dutch website (unfortunately now defunct) dealing with the nasty side of Hubbard’s brainfart. One of the pages gave an e-mail address to write to for requesting the complete Scientology training anthology in electronic format. I did so, and got a reply several hours later in which was given an FTP link to a zip archive, and it said that the link would only be open for 12 hours. I downloaded these materials (a bunch of HTML documents), and, well, suffice it to say that a full frontal lobotomy seems a prerequisite for “understanding” this stream-of-consciousness drivel. The pseudo-profundity, manufactured mystique and the precipitous cost of attending these courses are largely what sustain the perceived air of respectability.

    “Scientific Ontology” indeed! I think I’m about to have an engram.

  9. residentRsole Says:

    Hubbard writes well

    Con-Tester: Are you shittin’ me ? 🙂 I have read a few of Hubbard’s books, one that was in UCT’s library many years ago. He rambles on with verbal diahrea. I also read Battlefield Earth. A good exercise is to read the foreward to that book and compare it with the rest of the story, it will jump out at you that he must have had a ghost writer, since he did have one for the ten (!!) volume Mission Earth. Hubbard is a terrible writer while Battlefield Earth is actually quite a good read.

  10. I’m anxious to see how this case turns out.

  11. Con-Tester Says:

    residentRsole: I’ve only read Dianetics and the Scientology training materials, so I can’t really give a comprehensive assessment of Hubbard’s penmanship. Apparently, both were penned by Hubbard, and the book is eminently readable while the training stuff consists of the demented ramblings of someone who ate magic mushrooms while suffering an attack of cerebral malaria.

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